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Police denies involvement in death of Kennedy Yusuf

The Nigeria Police Force has denied involvement in the death of one Kennedy Yusuf who allegedly passed away while in custody in January 2007.

The respondent for the police, James Idachaba made the denial in Abuja before the Independent Investigative Panel on alleged human rights abuses by the defunct Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) and other units of the Nigeria Police.

An uncle of the deceased, a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mamman Danladi, toldthe the panel that the police at Jikwoyi, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, unlawfully arrested and detained Kennedy for allegedly stealing two bags of cement. He said Kennedy took ill and died in police custody because he was denied adequate medical attention.

Counsel to the police, Mr Idachaba, insisted that Kennedy died of a natural cause as shown by a post mortem report from the University of Abuja teaching hospital.

Mr Idachaba prayed the panel to throw away the petition as the matter had also been heard by the House of Representatives Committee on public hearing which dismissed the case for lack of merit.

However, the complainant, Mr Danladi, denied that the House dismissed the matter; rather, it had urged him to continue with the case at the panel, while awaiting the final report of the sitting.

The chairman of the panel adjourned the matter until the 29th of this month.

Similarly, a case of alleged torture, unlawful detention and imprisonment of one Tony Duchi and 7 others in 2013 was also heard.

The respondent, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, Cornelius Agbo, described the allegations against the Force as false.

Mr Agbo, told the panel that on the fateful day, while he was at Durumi, FCT, Abuja to fix his car, he decided to go to a nearby bush to ease himself.

There, three men approached him and one of them instantly began flogging him with a stick.

Afterwards, the police arrested the pair and charged them to court.

He claimed that he did not know what later transpired.

However, during cross-examination by counsel to the complainant, Samuel Yusuf, the panel was informed that Mr Agbo had already testified at the magistrate courts in Karu and Wuse, FCT, Abuja where the matter was heard.

The matter was adjourned to November 30.

Also, the panel heard the case of the alleged extra-judicial killing of an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) student of the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Israel Adegbite on September 17, 2015.

At a previous hearing on March 19, the panel had directed its counsel, Olawale Afolabi to find out the state of the matter in court as the police said the Director of Public Prosecution in Nasarawa was prosecuting the alleged culprit, Police Sergeant David Ilemuda.

Mr. Afolabi told the panel that, from his investigation, the matter had been struck out for lack of diligent prosecution and the accused released.

Counsel to the police, Mr Idachaba, insisted that the accused had been dismissed and information available to him indicated that the accused was being prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecution in Nasarawa State.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Suleiman Galadima adjourned the matter until November 30.

Reporting by Bose Ijelekhai; editing by Muzha Kucha